THE moment all Clarets have been waiting for since Monday, April 21 has almost arrived. Burnley’s first game back in the Premier League is just four days away.
Pundits have already had their say about their chances of survival. Most of them don’t give them a hope.
But then it’s easy to say that about promoted teams, especially when there isn’t the budget to compete with the big boys.
Comparisons will be drawn to the team of five years ago too.
But there could not be more contrasts.
The promoted class of 2008/09 was a side made up largely of older professionals.
For many of them it was one last throw of the dice to play in the top flight.
Some had been there before. Others returned. But for the likes of Brian Jensen, Graham Alexander, Steven Thompson, Christian Kalvenes and Wade Elliott it was a one-off.
This time it is different.
The promoted class of 2013/14 was made up largely of young, hungry talent, and that nucleus will stay together and grow together going forward, with Kieran Trippier, Ben Mee, Scott Arfield and Tom Heaton signing new deals this summer after Sam Vokes committed his future to the club last season.
And you can see a top flight future for them.
Although Michael Duff is set to return, of Burnley’s Premier League team of 2009/10 only Steven Fletcher has remained at that level. Robbie Blake was offered another chance with Bolton, but barely played and has since seen his professional career come to an end.
Tyrone Mears and Chris Eagles briefly extended their top flight careers at the Reebok before relegation.
Steven Caldwell had another Premier League season with Wigan, but is now playing in Major League Soccer with Toronto.
Five years from now you would expect many more than one to be plying their trade at English football’s top table.
Which is why, having got Burnley up, they have a better chance of keeping them up this time around, whether the Clarets achieve another memorable first home win on Monday, or not.